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Nutrition in cycling. What do the professionals eat?

12 August 2019

Many of us think that nutrition in cycling is when professionals eat a kilo of pasta before going out to train and another half kilo of meat. It is true?

Nutrition plays a very important role in the cyclist's performance. Proper nutrition will influence the amount of energy you will have during the day. And most importantly, nutrition will influence your recovery.

Why do professional teams have their own chefs and nutritionists?


All this is done to ensure that athletes are getting exactly the necessary amounts of nutrients based on their energy demands. In this way it is possible to improve the athletic performance of each athlete.

In a tour of 4-5 hours you can get to burn between 4000-6000 calories. That is why it is too easy to go for fast food and not increase even a single gram of weight. But professional cyclists must always be professionals.

An athlete's performance capacity will be compromised if the athlete's building blocks are made of Burger King and McDonald's. On the other hand, if these blocks are made of vegetables, meat and fresh foods, the yield will be higher.

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So what should be eaten to improve performance? Keys to good nutrition in cycling

6 in the morning. The alarm sounds and you are more than ready to go pedaling. 10 hours have passed since the last meal.

While you sleep your body runs out of fuel. You know why? That last sprint with friends before finishing yesterday's training left you exhausted. The muscle fibers broke and your glycogen stores were empty. While you sleep your body is in charge of repairing each of the muscle fibers, muscle glycogen stores begin to recover. And a series of processes at the cellular level occurs while you sleep.

I feel heavy when I pedal if I eat breakfast

Respect .... just keep going!

When it comes to looking to lose weight, people who eat breakfast eat less during the afternoon and fewer calories. This makes them more likely to be in a body fat index healthier than people who do not eat breakfast. That is why the key piece before leaving to pedal is the intake of some type of food to leave with more energy to pedal.

You might be interested: The true diet of a cyclist

The goal is to include slow-release carbohydrates (bread, rice, oats), a source of protein and at least one fruit or vegetable to increase the nutrient profile of the day. Even if time is a problem there is a series of quick breakfasts that can be eaten during the march. The simplest are the shakes.

Three bicycles breakfasts

  1. Porridge made with milk or soy with fresh berries, bananas and mixed seeds.
  2. Scrambled eggs with toasted wholemeal bread and tomato on the grill
  3. Smoothie made with banana, nut butter, milk and oatmeal

During the training

If you are planning to pedal for more than an hour you will have to add additional carbohydrates. The easiest way to do it is with sports drinks, bars and gels, also fruits like banana and dried fruits are helpful when riding a bicycle.

1970 27 / 6 rit 1> Eddy Merckx grabbing the good stuff out of his food bag while Molteni rider Davide Boifava is having a good look. Eddy in 't geel omdat hij' s morgens de proloog in Limoges had gewonnen "> </ p> <p> <strong> The goal is: </ strong> Take 60 grams of carbohydrates for each hour of exercise. It is important not to eat more than you need, since the stomach will fight to digest it and this will lead to nausea and stomach pains. </ P> <h4> Ways to eat 60g of carbohydrates: </ h4> <ol> <li> 1 banana, 500ml energy drink, a cereal bar. </ li> <li> 6 small portions of dried fruit, energy drink 500ml </ li> </ ol> <h3> After pedaling </ h3> <p> <img src =

When you finish pedaling, your priority should be to replace the energy expended so that your muscle glycogen recovers as soon as possible. You also have to provide the right amount of protein for muscle repair. Your food has to contain between 20 and 40 grams of protein and around 60 and 80 grams of carbohydrates.

It is a good idea to add vegetables to your meal after pedaling for a speedy recovery. Also to increase your carbohydrate intake and to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients and fiber sufficient for intestinal health.

Three recovery meals:

Roasted potatoes with tuna and salad
Chicken breast, rice and vegetables
Smoothie with peanut butter, yogurt, banana, chia seeds and fresh berries